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In Addictive behaviors ; h5-index 60.0

BACKGROUND : Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is prevalent among Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation New Dawn (OEF/OIF/OND) veterans. Pain and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are highly comorbid and increase risk of AUD. Prior studies linking pain or PTSD to AUD have not explored interactions between pain and PTSD symptoms.

METHODS : OEF/OIF/OND veterans (N = 1230) were recruited from social media websites for a cross-sectional study of health behavior. Pain was assessed using the Pain Outcomes Questionnaire. PTSD symptoms and PTSD symptom clusters were assessed using the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist for DSM-5. AUD symptoms were assessed with the AUD Identification Test. Linear regression models were used to test for main and interaction effects in the full sample and separately by sex.

RESULTS : Both pain and PTSD symptoms were associated with increased AUD symptomology, though the relationship between pain and AUD was heighted at relatively low PTSD symptoms. With respect to PTSD symptom clusters, re-experiencing and negative cognitions and mood were associated with increased AUD symptomology. Interactions between pain and re-experiencing as well as pain and avoidance were revealed. Results for men mirrored the full sample, while an interaction between pain and negative cognitions and mood was associated with AUD in women.

CONCLUSIONS : Results highlight associations between AUD, PTSD symptoms, and pain among veterans. While the relationship between pain and AUD appeared stronger in the context of low PTSD symptoms, both pain and PTSD symptoms were associated with increased AUD. Clinicians treating veterans with AUD should address the range of potential comorbidities.

Saba Shaddy K, Davis Jordan P, Prindle John J, Castro Carl Andrew, Pedersen Eric R


Alcohol use disorder, Comorbidity, Pain, Posttraumatic stress disorder, Veterans